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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Would like to find out how to find land to build a villa with a good size garden and space to built a couple of holiday rental units.
Ideally sea view 10-15 mins drive from nice beech, near schools for 10-11 year old.

What are the pros and cons buying land?
How easy is the planning process - department?
How do I find out the cost of building materials?

I have lots more questions but will add them a little at a time.

Living costs too?
 

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Looking for peoples views and experience, thanks
Land is no longer cheap here. Unlike property which has plumeted in price in the past year, landowners are keeping their prices high as they believe things will improve again very soon and they want the highest prices they can get.
If you buy land which is in the residential zone it is very expensive but you can often get permission for a 90% build density so a 200 square metre plot you can build a 180 m2 house. Land like this is NOT CHEAP though.
To buy agricultural land which much cheaper the build density is usually 10% (sometimes as low as 6%) this means to build a 150 m2 house you need 1500 m2 plot. Unless you buy inland, quite a way from the coast this wont be cheap either but at least you have good sized plot.
Planning permission can take several months whatever land you buy.

Veronica
 

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Residential land is very expensive - our friends have just paid 250,000 for a plot to build a 180m2 house in the suburbs, no views to speak of. Land with sea views will be more expensive. Building costs average out at anything between 1000 and 1500 per square metre, so their total cost is going to be fairly high. Building materials and fitting out can be as expensive as you want to make it from an IKEA kitchen to a bespoke build. Swimming pools of course just add to the bill, an average pool design is going to be minimum 20,000 if you want a decent job. We've just built a house on a family owned plot, so we didn't (thankfully) have to pay for it, but the planning process, getting designs passed through, obtaining permissions to build, checking borders with land registry, negotaiting boundary disputes with neighbours, oiling the cooperation of the municipality through the local muktar (mayor), arranging supply of electricity, water, getting permission to place a cess-pit along a road boundary, negotiating future road access to now landlocked neighbours agricultural land, notifying hunters of the proposed boundaries etc. was a long drawn out and fairly torturous affair and would have been nigh on impossible without my Greek speaking wife. We got to see quite a few building sites as we chose contractors and the majority of them were shockingly bad - poor workmanship, rip off merchants using cheap materials but charging for premium whilst owners are unable to check the site personally etc. We decided in the end to hire in a build company from abroad and put them up in a rented house, paid for their food and transport whilst they completed the build and it worked out cheaper than hiring local developers (whose quotes were astronomical in comparison. If you have building experience, it might work out cheaper to organise it yourself. Most villages have contacts that can supply resonable materials at decent costs -e.g. concrete, irons, hardcore and plant, but there is little experience here for newer materials (concrete is king)(another reason we looked abroad for an eco-friendly build).

Good luck with your search for a good plot...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm a small developer, so designing, specifying materials, arranging labour, project managing, keeping site clean and doing some work myself.
The above is what I will be doing so I will be looking at £400 - £700pm tops. Thats what it cost me here in the UK. So I would expect a little cheaper in Cyprus.
I doubt labour and materials dont cost more in Cyprus do they?

I would like semi rural.

Kimonas are prices really £1000 - £1500pm really charged there, I hope so.
I should be able to set my company up there at them prices.

Is it hard to find labour there?
 

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I'm a small developer, so designing, specifying materials, arranging labour, project managing, keeping site clean and doing some work myself.
The above is what I will be doing so I will be looking at £400 - £700pm tops. Thats what it cost me here in the UK. So I would expect a little cheaper in Cyprus.
I doubt labour and materials dont cost more in Cyprus do they?

I would like semi rural.

Kimonas are prices really £1000 - £1500pm really charged there, I hope so.
I should be able to set my company up there at them prices.

Is it hard to find labour there?
What you have to remember is that things are not done the same here as in the UK.
Many people have come across intending to do their own building and come a cropper because they didnt know how it is done here. Often it is more of case of who you know rather than what you know.
Make sure you do your research very thoroughly before you commit yourself to anything.
The average cost for a build now is 1,000 to 1,500 euros per square metre.
Labour should be no problem as there are so many people out of work due to many developments having been put on hold.
Labour will probably cost less than the UK but materials will cost a lot more.
In the long run I doubt it will any be cheaper to build here than in the Uk.

Veronica
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for your help.

It sounds expensive.
Do you have to pay tax on importing.
What tax is there on property sales profit and rental income.

I will have get out there and meet some people.

I probably would rent for six months or so to suss out the place.
 

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Through my work in private schools, I have had many interviews with ex-pat parents who were negotiating fees refunds to return to the UK having found their Cyprus dream had turned into a nightmare. The vast majority of these, I'm afarid were small developers, tradesmen, builders, chippies and electricians, airconditioning, window, plumbers and anyone concerned with the building trade. Their major complaint (apart from the economic downturn) was the 'closed shop' mentality of the way business is conducted here. Most small developments here are for young Cypriot couples who have a family plot to build on, and they will use family connections to supply contractors and materials - it will of course be their dream home, they will never sell it, will raise their children there, and if they have a girl, will immediately start saving to find an ideal plot to build her a house (or more usual these days to build another floor on top of their home). With these close family unit traditions, it is virtually impossible for outsiders to break in. Certainly the vast majority of couples don't look around at properties that are already built. Bigger developers are building comparatively large estates of cheaply made box like villas for the ex-pat market which has virtually dried up and there are many people who have been caught out with a property they cannot sell as (unlike the UK) the resale tradition simply doesn't exist within the domestic market.

In short, the golden rule of very careful research before commitment (as you're doing) is absolutely essential. Clearly the scenario outlined above is in some ways a generalisation and there may be workable opportunities somewhere on the island, but it is going to be difficult. I've noticed, for example, many new government estates springing up in Larnaca (amazing that they seem to be able to build several units a month on these contracts, whereas the average build on a private contract seems to take several years!) Such contracts are almost always won by the big developers. There are also big European contracts underway or about to start (largely connected to the tourist industry) -for example the 1 billion euro Larnaca port development and there are marinas (I think six) springing up around the island (that at Zygi is almost complete). This has resulted in a fair amount of redevelopment of existing structures, and it may be here that future business opportunities are, as most developers here (it seems to me) have little experience of redevelopment and refurbishment.

Sorry I can't help out with info on tax etc but I'm sure other forum members will be along shortly to address these questions.

Good luck
 

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Paul,
I have to echo what Kimonas and Veronica have said. Many Cypriot locals in my area have set themselves up as small developers and have lost a lot of money because suppliers of materials and small contractors favour the larger developers. They often just do not turn up for a scheduled job with a smaller developer because they prefer to work for a bigger one or on a bigger development... so you are left funding a job that has seriously over-run, with a knock-on impact on the price of materials for later stages.

As an experienced and qualified ex-project manager I would not want to try and manage a project over here with a completely different culture about time and scheduling... and what time a working day involves.... it would be a nightmare!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
How about if I brought trades from the UK to complete jobs. I can and have done most jobs, trades. (Don't do plastering though)

It doesn't sound very friendly over there. Sounds like the Greeks are against brits.
If that;s the case I wont bother with the country.
Let me know how friendly it is.

I'm also thinking of Australia, New Zeland, Florida and maybe even France.
 

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Hi there, have just been reading your post, and me and my partner are moving over in February and renting for 6 months but long term we will be building!!

Do they have places that you can hire building equipment, like diggers, cement mixers, wacker plates etc. and if anyone does know if they do that do you know a rough guide on pricing?

Thanks for your help am flying over on Monday!!(weather permitting) to view some properties to rent!!
Its all moving sooo fast now!!
 

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How about if I brought trades from the UK to complete jobs. I can and have done most jobs, trades. (Don't do plastering though)

It doesn't sound very friendly over there. Sounds like the Greeks are against brits.
If that;s the case I wont bother with the country.
Let me know how friendly it is.

I'm also thinking of Australia, New Zeland, Florida and maybe even France.
It isnt a matter of the Cypriots not liking the Brits. It is more a matter of people being desperate for work and like anywhere these days it is dog eat dog.
The jobs that are available will inevitably go to Cypriots as in most cases it is not what you know but who you know. As most Cypriots have very large extended families there is always a family member who needs a job so if you have a job available you will give it to your cousin etc.
During the good times when the construction industry was flourishing getting work was not such a problem and once things pick up again I am sure it will get easier again.
As for it not being friendly that is not true at all.

Veronica
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I don't really want work, Just want to build a few houses every few years. If they don't sell will rent them for a income.
I really want to start building zero carbon, eco friendly homes.
 

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I don't really want work, Just want to build a few houses every few years. If they don't sell will rent them for a income.
I really want to start building zero carbon, eco friendly homes.

There are some companies building eco friendly homes and depending on the type there are very slow signs that some Cyriots are showing interest in them.
The majority however are very blinkered and cannot see past the concrete boxes that have t radionally been built here.
Any such houses that you build would probably be more likely to sell to Brits than locals and the majority of people buying here now are locals (unlike the last few years).
However hopefully it won't be too long before the market improves and perhpas by the time you build some of these homes we might have seen a turnaround both in the number of Brits buying here again also the way the locals look at eco friendly building.
Who knows maybe if I can sell my house I might come to you to build me one:D:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
First client already :)
That's my plan, show people the way with my own properties, then design and build for others.
Business is easy really.

What's the red tape with planning like. Is it harder or easier than the UK?
 

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It depends on where you intend to build. Most villages have contacts that will supply the necessary JCB, Bobcat forklifts, lorries for hardcore, cement mixers etc. with driver. They charge anything from 30-50 euros an hour for plant vehicles depending on the job. We've just finished building a house and out plant bill was about 1500Euros. I'm not sure if there is anywhere that will actually rent out for self-drive, but have not come across this (been here for five years now).
 
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